Server sales tick up, more to come

Server revenues climbed 2.5 percent in the past year according to IDC’s quarterly worldwide server tracker. In the second quarter of 2014 sales totalled US$12.6 billion. Unit shipments grew 1.2 percent to 2.2 million.

The standout segment was mid-range systems which saw 11.5 percent growth. IDC puts the surge down to technology refresh cycles. Volume systems climbed 4.9 percent. Meanwhile high-end enterprise systems dropped almost 10 percent.

HP moved into top slot with a 25.4 percent market share for the quarter. This time last year IBM was the leader, but with year on year sales revenue down more than 10 percent the company is now in second place with a 23.6 percent market share. The company’s share will fall faster thanks to Lenovo buying part of IBM’s server business.

Dell, Oracle and Cisco are runners-up. Cisco’s revenue jumped by over 35 percent putting it in joint fourth place with Oracle. IDC lists the little-known companies making cloud servers as ODM Direct. They collectively scored a 6.6 percent market share.

IDC says the market is going through a refresh cycle with servers being replace. The analyst company expects this to continue for the next year or so with Microsoft’s decision to end Windows Server 2003 support likely to further stimulate sales. Also on the horizon is Intel’s Grantley Xeon technology.

Hack Miramar: Your suburb needs you

Ian Apperley wants geeks living in Wellington’s Eastern Suburbs to work on problems like traffic, consultation and free internet access at Hack Miramar.

It’s a smart suburb project, which Apperley says is a mini version of a smart city. He says:

The weekend doesn’t have to be exclusive to technology ideas, for example, teams could focus on urban design issues, but the overall emphasis is on the use of technology such as sensors and cloud to create solutions to issues around the theme of  movement and transport.

The event is scheduled for the weekend of November 1, 2 and will take place in Miramar.

 

When venture capital hurts start-ups

Peter Kerr at Stick reports raising venture capital can hurt a new business. The title of his  Should you bother with venture capital funding…the numbers suggest no says it all. He quotes one investor who points out there is an inverse correlation between the amount of venture capital invested and business success. In other words, the companies that raise the least amount of funds tend to do best.

Kerr lists five reasons why this happens. For me the first one is the killer:

Pandering to VCs is a distraction:

Raising capital demands a lot of time and energy, when an entrepreneur is better off convincing prospective customers to buy – or perhaps learning why they won’t.

And that’s my experience of raising money. Often it can take almost as much effort to raise a sum from investors as it can to earn the same amount as income.

Long wait for ARM servers

Rick Merritt at EE Times reports ARM-based servers are coming, but it is taking longer than expected.

He writes:

“There will definitely be [ARM] server products shipping this year and a reasonable number next year, but it won’t really begin to ramp until 2016,” Forrest Norrod, general manager of Dell Inc.’s server group, told EE Times.

AEM is struggling to get server software for its processors — Intel chips remain a priority for developers. Merritt reports Microsoft has still not committed to an ARM version of Windows Server.

It would be good to see ARM chips in the data centre. The company makes reduced instruction set (Risc) processors which use fewer transistors than conventional chip designs. This means lower power-requirements — a huge plus for data centres.